Open Your Eyes

This documentary, is set in the Himalayan mountains of Nepal and follows the efforts of the Seva Foundation to find people with cataracts and bring them to a hospital for free surgery by a volunteer doctor. The foundation is one of about a half-a-dozen groups that tackle the problem of cataracts with good results, says Kleiman. Representatives go door to door in villages, looking for possible patients. That's how they found Manisara and Durga.

The star of a new HBO documentary called Open Your Eyes is wizened and gray, although she's most likely only in her 60s – exact ages can be hard to figure out in Nepal, where she lives. She lives with her husband and son and young granddaughter. Playing with the child in an early scene in the film, she says, "When I feel her toes, it feels like mine."

But she doesn't know for sure. That's because Manisara's eyes do not see. She has cataracts — the world's No. 1 cause of blindness, responsible for robbing some 20 million people of their sight. Leading causes of cataracts are exposure to sunlight, smoking and drinking alcohol. Over time, the eye's lens grows opaque; vision clouds and disappears.